But when leafs were on, we did beat the likes of NYR, Detroit, Pitt, NJ, Ott, Was and StL.....prob most likely wouldnt be able to beat these guys in the playoffs, but there is talent. Leafs are lacking confidence and consistency. Those are 2 things that are gained through experience and are rather contagious. Time will tell if they have it in them to run it through a full season, and then part of the post season.
Solid goaltending is probably the best way to give a team confidence. The NYR have been a perrenial playoff team almost entirely due to Lundqvist. They've added to their forward group through free agency with Gaborik/Richards which has helped put them over the top... but they've largely been making the playoffs the last ~5 years with teams that on paper didn't look particularly good outside of goaltending. Same with Montreal, did that team on paper look like it had any business in the SC semi-finals? No, not at all. It was Halak that threw the team on his back, which gave the team confidence that they could win on any given night.
I think you are dreaming. Kessel, Gardiner, Lupul and most other Leafs would disappear in the playoff intensity. The Senators have guys who can turn it up and play a real physical defensive game, the Leafs cannot.
I don't get the comparison of a rebuilding team vs. some of the best teams.
Of course we can't play with the big boys...
We shouldn't even be discussing this....
Burke's not rebuilding, he's re-tooling.
Yep.. if he had kept his picks, we would be excitedly comparing how our young core looked like it could be comparable to some of the SC contenders in a few years. There's a big difference between a rebuild and a retool, and there's a big difference between what Burke's expectations were of this team and what's actually happened. I don't care how many times he says that he would still redo that trade in a heartbeat, it's a pile of BS. And you can't argue about hindsight being 20/20, because gets paid MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year to make educated predictions on the performance of the sum of the parts of this organization, predictions on player development, predictions on where our 1st round picks will end up given the assembled talent. So you can't just say, oh well he thought they'd be mid 1st round picks... because that's exactly the point. He completely misjudged the situation. And it clearly wasn't an abberation of a season that got Boston Tyler Seguin, we still haven't made the playoffs two seasons later, and finished 5th last, so it's pretty clear it was a very large misjudgement of the assembled talent of the team.
So yes Odin, if this team had actually done a rebuild, and if we were on the tail end of that rebuild, fans wouldn't be comparing our exact on ice product this year to SC contenders. We would be comparing the future. Which people are still doing in this thread... Shall we line up the assembled talent through Burke's rebuild?
How do Reimer/Scrivens compare to Lundqvist, Halak, Rinne, Luongo, Fleury, etc?
How does Kadri compare to Kane, Ovechkin, Parise, Neal, etc?
How does Jesse Blacker compare to Weber, Keith, Lidstrom, Letang, Karlsson, etc?
How does Carter Ashton compare to Lucic, Clowe, Brown, Callahan, etc?
How does Colborne compare to Toews, Datsyuk, Crosby, Spezza, Sedin, etc?
Obviously we don't know how things will turn out, but given that we moved our top picks, those are our top prospects after 4 years... so...yea. Gardiner looks like the only guy with a semi-legit shot of developing into a top line talent, but even so, his rookie season wasn't as good as Myers, Doughtys, Subbans,Pietrangelos etc. So even given his huge rise, he's still not "up there" with the top young D in the game. We have Kessel yes, but he's a UFA in two years and it's been widely talked about in terms of what he doesn't bring to the table when compared to other teams top forwards (size/defensive ability/toughness/willingness to go to the tough areas/etc). We have Phaneuf, but he just eats up a lot of cap space. He's more of a #2-3 D, not a #1.
Part of the problem with this post is you are comparing prospects to established NHL players. Halak was never projected to be doing what he's doing, neither was Rinne, Neal, Letang, Karlsson, Clowe, Callahan if they were they wouldn't have been drafted 271st, 258th, 33rd, 62nd, 15th, 175th and 127th overall respectably.
Do you really think we would be that much better prospect wise if you take out Kessel and add in Seguin and Knight? Seguin is no longer a prospect so basically you could add Knight to our list of prospects. Not to mention there's no guarantees Burke would of gone out and got Colborne, Gardiner if that move for Kessel was not made. So take out Gardiner and Colborne and add in Knight to our prospects, are we really better off? Actually were worse.
So blame Burke all you wangt but he started from scratch so I'm not quite sure what you expected.
I actually like Phanuef, he's not as bad as he's portrayed on these boards.
This thread is just proof to me at how naive Leaf Nation actually is. Did you honestly expect Burke to make this team a SC contender after 3 years?
Call it a retool, rebuild, restructure call it what you want, the truth is Burke has been resupplying our prospect pool and depth of prospects. It takes probably 4 years just to see the first wave of prospects, then it takes a couple years for these players to get comfortable in the NHL, then a couple years after that before they start to succeed.....and that's just the first wave of prospects, each wave of prospects after that need the same amount of time, so with or without Burke, we have a ways to go, I don't see the sense and firing our GM and starting the process all over again.
We have a ton of depth in our prospects, we have an abundance of 2nd, 3rd and 4th line players if you look at our prospects and the Leafs team itself, we have a ton of defenseman(prospects and big club), at least enough to fill in the 2-6 spots on D, we arguably have a #1 defenseman in Phanuef. The places we are lacking are elite type players. One can argue that Kessel can fill a hole there, we could be getting a prospect this draft that can possibly be our #1 center down the road. One place that is still a big question mark is goaltending and i'm not so sure our bad goaltending wasn't a direct result of a poor defensive system.
So were lacking a #1 center(which could possibly be addressed in this next draft, or not, no one really knows) and good goaltending. Goaltending is going to be the tricky spot, goalies are so inconsistent these days and they need a ton of developing, who's to say we don't have our own Halak in the system?
The only way to sort these things out is to just let the process occur, there's really no easy road and were finding that out, but I think the emphasis Burke has put on drafting and developing will start to show before long. Next season will be our last season of the dead weight(and hopefully Burke starts dishing them off sooner) and then our prospects will start to filter onto the team, but don't expect success right away, these kids will need to learn to play at the NHL level.
Point is if Leaf nation wasn't so damn naive we wouldn't even be seeing these threads
What about Hamilton? And you can easily argue that the two 1sts we gave up would have been even higher had we not had Kessel to improve our position in the standings, meaning that what we would have actually had as opposed to what Boston got out of it are two different things, but it's safe to say that we would have gotten higher picks this year and the last two years if Kessel hadn't been on the team. As for Seguin no longer being a prospect. Yes that's true, because he's already the leading scorer on the Defending SC Champions. He's also a centre (more important than a winger), he's greay defensively (Kessel isn't), and he put up far better points than Kessel did at the same age (when Kessel was playing with Savard who was a better offensive player than Bergeron is for Seguin). Then you factor in the pick last year which would have been higher than 9th without Kessel. The 2nd round pick is just icing on the cake.
As for acquiring Colborne/Gardiner/etc? Why wouldn't he have done that? He still would have been a "seller" at the deadline, and moved Kaberle/Beauchemin/etc. Usually when you start from scratch you keep your picks... that's what I expected. The Leafs had never been in a better position to sell off veterans, acquire picks/prospects, and just build through the draft for 2-3 years. You don't trade long term competitiveness for short term competitiveness unless that short-term competitiveness is enough to make you a legit SC contender. Why on Earth would you trade the future to become slightly better during the years that your franchise is bottoming out? It doesn't make any sense. 2-3 years from now, as Leaf fans we'll be able to look back on it and say... "oh I'm sure glad we made that trade, that way we could finish 2nd last in 2010 as opposed to dead last, and 9th last in 2011 as opposed to bottom 5, and we gave up the picks so we don't even benefit from doing poorly in the standings, but at least we did slightly less poorly than we would have otherwise done"... And what about 2 years from now when Kessel becomes a UFA? What are the chances he stays? So maybe we trade him for futures at some point... but if we had just kept the original picks, we would have already developed high draft picks to build around, instead of looking at another few years of rebuilding or retooling.
I don't mind Burke's aggressive nature, I just think it was at least 2, probably 3 years too early in the rebuild process. Especially when you include cap hits, time to UFA status, etc. There was no reason for him to reinvent the wheel. Are there other teams that have been built without top 5 picks? Yes. But did they ever have those high picks to begin with and then trade them away? No. The NYI did that, traded away high picks/prospects that became Spezza, Luongo, Redden, Jokinen, etc. How'd that work out for them? And that was before there was a salary cap.
Everything your saying is based on what ifs. I don't buy that.
If Kessel is not good enough of a player to be an important piece of our core than how is he a good enough to lift us from the bottom of the standings to get us a worse pick? You're saying Kessel single handedly lifted us from being worst in the NHL over the last couple of seasons. I'm not buying all the what ifs that you choose to base your philosophy around because I can spin it anyway I want as well.
Say what you want about Seguin but what if he played for the Leafs? Do you honestly think he would be the same player that he is right now? Lets say every team focused on Seguin and punished him the way the do Kessel, do you think he would be so successful right now? He's protected in BOS, no one comes near him, he's pretty much got run of the ice, a luxury he would not have here. I see Seguin as easily intimdated but he does not have to worry about that where he is. But Kessel does and he still managed to put up 82 points this year, so actually he's done better even with every team focusing on him. He put up 82 points against the best players the league has to offer.
RNH, Hall, Tavares, etc, all seem to have done quite well on teams that are equally as bad as ours.
And so you're saying Kessel isn't good enough to lift the leafs a couple of spots in the standings over an 82 game season? Why would you trade top picks for him then? Why would you assume adding Kessel automatically makes you a playoff team? That removes the hindsight is 20/20 argument, since your essentially saying there's no reason to have expected Kessel to make this team any better, so right after the trade you could have predicted that the picks would have been very high picks.
And yes, I know it's a team game, and you need to build an entire team to be competitive. But that's exactly my point, why trade high picks for a one-dimensional scoring winger who's UFA status is going to come up before the team has been built? When you could have just drafted your own players, had them on cheaper contracts, had control of them for 3+ years longer minimum, and when Seguin and the other players drafted in similar range over the last few years have almost all shown to be better players than Kessel anyways. I would take any of Tavares, RNH, Hall, Stamkos, Doughty, Pietrangelo, Seguin, Landeskog right now over Kessel, and since they're all 3-6 years younger, you can also expect a lot more development out of them and the players drafted around them.
Kessels a good player, it was just a terrible time to make that trade. I honestly don't know how you can defend it. 95% of Leaf fans criticize it, 99% of fans from other teams think it's absolutely hilarious (the other 1% just think it's sad), 99% of hockey commentators/analysts/etc think it was a bad trade. But yea, I'm sure you're the one that's right.
If Vancouver for example gave up Schneider/Hodgson for Kessel a few years ago, even if those players developed into better players (and I'm not saying they will or are, I'm just using it as an example), it still would have been a trade that made sense because they were and are in a window where they can contend. So adding a player like Kessel, even though it may mean they're less competitive 5 years down the line because of it, could have put them over the top and won them a SC. We were not and are not anywhere close to that type of position.
I agree that if you watch these playoff games, you have to think the Leafs would have little chance of competing BUT you also have to consider that it is the playoffs!
All teams and players have ramped it up a little, and the Leafs would too!
The biggest difference I see in these games is the goaltending, I don' think the Leafs could compete in that area.
Just watched Kevin Klein slice thru the entire Detroit team and score is second goal, looked like bobby Orr , who the hell is Kevin Klein?
He was in "A Fish Called Wanda".
No where in my post did i say it was a great trade lol, this is you putting words in my mouth. It doesn't really matter anyways because it's all doom and gloom in Leaf nation, we have no prospects etc etc, you guys know the drill
The Leafs have been a lousy team for 7 years. It's no surprise they don't compare to the teams currently in the playoffs.
This should be renamed to the Barrel of Emo's forum
I am really glad that you are here to enlighten us with your superior knowledge of all things Leafs .
Enjoy your time here .
I'm intrigued to see this thread. I was considering this topic yesterday.
It's scary. The Leafs might have played at this tempo for 10 games, including Carlyle's first game in Montreal, and several individual periods, but that is all. They would be overrun by most of these teams - as in roadkill. Without Lupul, Kessel might get the odd break against a team with lapses like the Penguins are having just now, but that is about it. Our few corner guys would simply be outsized. Huge pressure would be brought to bear on the likes of our big defensemen like Schenn, Phaneuf and Franson (SPF- sunscreen - ha!) to stand up and hit, yet not be caught out of position and so they'd likely take penalties. Only the rushers -Liles and Gardiner might provide some drive. Our goaltending, as it stands, would not have withstood this intensity of scrambles and scrumming around the net. Our Leafs might have stolen a single game at the ACC against a few more of the current squads (Wash., Florida, New Jersey, St. Louis, San Jose, and this year's Canucks) I suppose, but that is about it.